Cast stones are pre-cast concrete that imitates the appearance, texture, and functionality of natural stones. Instead of carving real stones for ornaments and trimmings, cast stones are used instead. Cast stone repair is necessary to maintain the natural look and appearance of these masonry applications.
Cast stones are man-made and pre-fabricated masonry products. They are specially installed by professionals who should also be well-versed about their proper repair and maintenance. Cast stone repair is as meticulous as its installation, which is why everything from installation to repair has to be done only by the experts.
Proper Handling of Cast Stones
When cast stones are not handled properly, cracks may develop. Loading and installing these masonry products have to be done with utmost care, or they won’t be able to serve their purpose. In the same way, they should be cleaned and repaired accordingly in order to prevent further damage. The corners and edges of cast stones are especially vulnerable to cracking because these areas are less dense than the others.
At times, spalls may also develop. Spalls occur at anchor posts where the stress is high. They may also be a result of improper setting, which usually happens when pry bars are used to position the stone. The weaker corners, edges, and parts of the cast stone break due to the increased pressure applied.
Cast Stone Repair Methods
Cast stone repair should be carried out as soon as there are signs of wear, tear, and damage on the concrete. There have been a lot of creative approaches in the maintenance and repair of cast stones although the most common methods are the following:
Cast stone cleaning can easily be done using water and detergent. However, if these substances fail to remove the spots and stains in the concrete, more aggressive cleaners like acids should be used instead. But the use of these abrasive chemicals should only be done by a professional as they tend to dissolve the cement binders in the concrete, thus leading to more problems such as roughness and erosion.
- Architectural Coating
Cast stones that are severely soiled, discolored, and crazed should be sealed or coated using a pigmented sealer. Doing so will restore the natural look of the stone that has been lost due to a number of reasons although most of them are environmental factors. Cast stone sealing and coating should be performed once every five to ten years to preserve the natural beauty of concrete trimmings and ornaments.
Patching is a method used to repair cracks on the surface of the stone. While this seems to be any other handyman’s job, it really isn’t. Patching should be done properly or it will merely fail. The patches should be applied properly in order to repair aesthetic and structural damage on the concrete.
These are the three most common cast stone repair methods being used today, although there are more advanced processes available, such as chemical injection, re-etching, and waterproofing. Broken cast stones should be repaired immediately to mitigate the damage and prevent much higher repair costs.